Vishnu Vardhan’s lucky singles entry was short-lived as he was beaten 6-3, 6-2 by Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia in the first round at Wimbledon on Monday.

However, he was quite thrilled, to get to play singles at Wimbledon in the Olympics, against someone ranked 76th in the world, as compared tohis own modest rank of 302.

“It is a great experience for me. I have never played at Wimbledon. I was not good enough junior to play on these courts.

“I was very luckyto play the singles here.

“I worked really hard in the match but I could not win. Not many Indians have played singles in the Olympics and I am really happy to be one of them’’, said Vishnu.

It was Leander Paes who had alerted Vishnu about a vacancy in the singles draw.

Vishnu was grateful to Paes for the lucky turn and also for choosing him as his doubles partner.

“Leander is the person I should thank. First of all I am here because of him.

“Secondly, the day before yesterday, he called me up lateevening and said that there was a spot in the singles draw and I should to sign up first thing in the morning.

“ I am really happy to get more matches on these courts so I am more pared for the doubles,” said Vishnu.

Indian pairs progress

Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna displayed their class on grass when they beat Max Mirnyi and Alexander Bury of Belarus 7-6(4), 6-7(4), 8-6 in a high-quality doubles pre-quarterfinals on Monday.

Bopanna served out the match after Bury was broken in the 13th game of the decider, played on the long set format. That was the onlybreak of serve in the entire match.

The joy of the Indian camp was complete when Leander Paes and Vishnu Vardhan subdued robin Haase and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-2 to set up a pre-quarterfinal against the second-seeded Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France.

Bhupathi and Bopanna, figuring in the second quarter along with third seeds Janko Tipsarevic and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia, will meet another French combination of Julien Benneteau and Richard Gasquet in the pre-quarterfinals.

In fact, Bhupathi and Bopanna faced their first breakpoint after nearly two hours of action, in the fourth game of the decider, andsaved three of them to hold serve for 2-2.

However, the two failed to capitalise on three breakpoints in the first two sets. The Indians served better and 11 aces to seven by their opponents.

“We were playing at a high level. I don’t think we were nervous at all. We played a really tough team. Mirnyi is No. 1 in the world.It was obviously a very tough game out there. We played well and came out on top,” said Bopanna.

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